At Simple Fare Catering we've catered lots of broker open houses. When we say food, you may think of touring perfectly-staged homes and hoping to find fresh-baked cookies in the kitchens. However, food for open houses can be much more elaborate than that.
But, don't just take our word for it! Below are some food ideas from Realtor Magazine for catering for broker open houses.
Schedule it around a meal
Events around breakfast or lunch time have the best turnout. Hosting a lunch works really well. Since everyone has to eat, most brokers are inclined to attend the event if they know they are going to get a good meal out of it. You want people to come for the food and stay long enough to take a look at your space. It’s even fun to serve food from local restaurants to highlight the surrounding amenities.
Free appetizers won't sell a listing on their own, but offering tasty treats at your open house encourages buyers to linger longer and creates a positive atmosphere.
However, food can also be a huge hassle — creating a mess and distracting potential buyers from falling in love with the home. Here is a list of 10 rules you should follow when serving food at an open house. It includes tips that will impress potential buyers while cutting down on cleanup.
Rules for a Delectable Open House
If a guest at your open house needs to use a spoon, fork, or knife to graze at your buffet, the food is too fussy. Finger foods are always best.
Stage a pretty food and beverage station.
Cut some flowers from your yard or buy a seasonal bouquet to serve as the focal point. You can use a tablecloth but make sure it's not too formal. Quality disposable cups and plates are ideal, especially if you can find colorful ones that match the theme of the room.
Think small with cocktail-size plates.
Smaller-size plates and napkins send the signal that you’re not serving a meal. It also helps control portion sizes so guests don't monopolize what you’ve prepared.
Bottled water is a must.
Visiting open houses can feel like a marathon for home buyers. Your guests on-the-go will appreciate the portable pick-me-up.
Coffee is natural with house hunters.
If you don't want coffee consumed away from the station, don't provide covers and sleeves. However, your visitors may appreciate being able to take the coffee on the road.
Have enough, but not too much.
Gauge your food needs based on the average attendance at an open house in your area. Plan for one beverage and three hors d’oeuvres per person with some extra set aside in the refrigerator in case of an unexpected rush. Be careful not to go overboard; lavish spreads could signal desperation to savvy home buyers.
Choose low-maintenance menu items.
You should be able to spend your day talking to visitors and answering questions about the house, not tending to the food. Visitors should be able to easily serve themselves. If you feel the need to explain certain ingredients or identify food items, you can do so by using attractive place-cards at the station.
Cut down on cleanup.
Place a waste container in a very visible place adjacent to the food and beverage station.
For more information on food for your broker open house, contact Simple Fare Catering in Medford.